Monday, October 31, 2011

Apple Crisp

Happy Halloween!

Does anyone watch The Walking Dead on AMC? I'm not typically into scary shows, but this one I can handle because zombies are not as scary as, say, a serial killer. But last night's was kind of sad--someone did one of those unthinkable things that you understand that people do under extreme duress, but still something that you're sad and disappointed to see. Seeing as that I view TV shows as the place in the sand for my head to burrow in to avoid ugly realities, I may not watch the show anymore.  Considering that this is how I react to something fictional on a fantasy TV show, I sometimes consider that I am not cut out for real life.
On a happier note, maybe zombies like apple crisp. Or maybe they don't, unless it was baked with human blood. Or maybe they still wouldn't like it, because the blood would have been cooked. Maybe a drizzling of fresh blood at the end. Is this too macabre?
My sister gave me a fantastic recipe for an apple crisp. She adopted it from a complicated one that involved several cooking vessels, and streamlined it into this great recipe. The premise behind this apple crisp is that you want to cook the apples down before baking the final product with the crisp topping--this gives the filling a good cooked (but not mushy) texture without burning the crisp topping. My sister's genius idea was to pre-cook the apples right in the pie dish at high heat in the oven, instead of using a skillet (i.e. another dish to clean). This be tasty.
For filling:
6 to 8 large apples (the original recipe said 6, I used 7, but could have squeezed in another)
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
juice of ½ a lemon

For topping:
2 Tbs sugar (I may lower the amount of sugar next time)
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
½ c chopped walnuts or pecans
½ c flour
¼ c (4 TBS) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel apples, and slice into ½” wedges (not too thin or the end result will be like applesauce).  
I used a combo of Gala and Fuji, for no particular reason except that I had them.
Toss in a large bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients, making sure each piece is coated well -- this is your only chance to get all the flavor distributed.  So don't f*$! it up, moron. (I don't really mean that, but I couldn't resist.)
Pat into 8-9” pie plate. I dotted mine with 1 TBS butter, because I felt like it.
Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

In the meantime, make filling.  In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour and nuts.
Sprinkle butter and vanilla over mixture and quickly rub in with fingers, pastry cutter thingamajig or a fork. You're going to get a crumbly mixture with some bits the size of small peas. Get it to the consistency where if you smushed some in your hand, it would hold together.

Remove apples from oven and give the apples a stir.
Cover evenly with topping.
Bake for another 20-25 minutes, until topping is golden brown.  Serve warm with ice cream.
The pictures I took of the final product did not do justice to the dessert, so I am omitting them for your benefit, so that you won't be dissuaded from shutting down your computer, going to the grocery store, buying some apples, and going home to make this right now. Like, RIGHT NOW.


  1. I do watch the Walking Dead and I was really sad/upset that he did what he did. On the other hand, this recipe makes me happy and I will most likely try it soon!

  2. I am terrified of scary movies/tv shows and can't watch the Walking Dead. Every time Dave watches it I think I can do it, but pretty quickly have to leave the room. On a happier note, I have a bunch of Granny Smith apples I'd love to try this recipe with! Since those are more tart than the apples you used, do you think I should up the sugar?

  3. I'm the same as Megan, I'm terrified of scary movies. I love apples and I have a bunch of orchard apples that can be used for this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I've heard great things about walking dead, too bad we no longer have cable! I wonder if I can find it online...

    And as for the crisp, I think I need some right now. Mmm. I am a complete sucker for anything even remotely related to apple pie. :P

  5. Now I want to know what happened! But I don't want to watch the zombie show! I totally get what you mean about not being cut out for real life. If I even hear people talk about gross stuff I totally freak out.

  6. Now - I just need a delicious vanilla ice cream recipe to go along with this. NOM NOM.

  7. Yum! I don't know if zombies would like apple crisp, but I definitely do and pregnant me REALLY likes them.

  8. I'm not sure what the connection between yummy apple crisp and NASty walking dead TV is, but I'll take the 'genius' compliment, thank you very much.

  9. Awesome! I've never heard of precooking the apples before, but it makes sense. My grandmother used to make us apple crisp every fall with apples from her trees. Oh, I miss that. I might have to make this and relive the old days. Thanks for sharing the recipe.